Aarti Shyamsunder, Director, Research at Catalyst, PhD, is responsible for conducting and disseminating Catalyst research, with a special focus on India. In this capacity, she has been involved in Catalyst’s research on high-potential women and men, as part of the Catalyst Career Pathways Research Center, and also has worked on tools and programs for other Research Centers. Ms. Shyamsunder develops knowledge products on the development, retention, and advancement of women in business and serves as a resource on diversity and inclusion for members in the region to help them leverage Catalyst research in their talent management initiatives. She is a frequent speaker and facilitator at D&I events in India.
Originally from Mumbai, Ms. Shyamsunder has split her professional life working in the United States and India and is now based in Bangalore. Prior to Catalyst, Ms. Shyamsunder led the Decision Solutions function in the Infosys Leadership Institute (Mysore, India) and before that, worked in the Hiring Solutions group at Kronos (Portland, USA). Her research interests have spanned various areas, including employee selection systems, testing and assessment, and leadership development. In addition to co-authoring a book chapter and presenting research at international conferences in the United States, Europe, and India, her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Human Performance. She was recognized as one of India’s Future Emerging HR Leaders at the “The Are You In The List 2013 Awards."
Ms. Shyamsunder received her MA and PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Akron (Ohio), and her BA in Psychology from St. Xavier’s College, University of Mumbai.
There is a surge in awareness, interest and genuine eagerness on the part of leaders to see workplaces reflect the diversity of the country, especially by tapping into the underleveraged talents of women in India. This energy is wonderful, but it needs to be matched by action and accountability on the ground. That's why Catalyst's new report clearly highlights intentional leadership actions as essential to moving India Inc from talking the talk to walking the walk.
My father's defining characteristic is a calm and logical approach to life, where there is little use for prejudices and biases because those are simply erroneous ways of making decisions. I think this philosophy is what makes him and me unabashed feminists -- we simply believe that fairness and equality are good, and that decisions made based on data and logic trump those based on relationships and biases.
Men in India are at a crossroad today. They have the choice to remain silent and be a bystander to continued inequity, or to get actively involved in the effort to have an equitable society and workplace for all Indians.